In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d come up with five child-related things that you can do to help “green” your household. I am a big fan of being green because not only is it good for the environment, 99% of the time, it saves you money! Total win-win.
- Used Clothing. While we all love to get that ridiculously adorable new onesie, the truth is that babies outgrow their clothing very quickly. Sometimes before they even have a chance to wear everything. If you have a friend or neighbor who offers you baby clothes, take them. If your neighborhood has a baby clothes swap or big yard sale, go to it. You’ll be creating less stuff that can end up in landfills, and you’ll be saving big bucks. Plus, it’s still new to you! On the same note, there’s nothing wrong with hand-me-downs. I have several space bags packed with clothes that are awaiting future kiddos. And even if we have a boy next, there are some gender neutral PJs that are coming out!
- Breastfeed. Because we are talking Earth Day here, I will skim over the vast health benefits for both baby and mom and simply say that there is good reason we ladies have breasts and we should use them! Breastfeeding is also environmentally friendly. Producing it does not require any carbon footprint outside of feeding ourselves, it costs nothing, and there’s nothing to wash or warm up, so no extra water or energy is used. Perfect food, right there.
- Cloth Diapers. There is an initial expense involved in cloth diapering, which sometimes turns people off. Depending on what type of diapers you use it could range (very roughly) from $125 (pre-folds) to $270 (pocket diapers). A very low ball estimate of how much it would cost for disposables for two years comes in around $600. Keeping in mind that you can reuse the cloth for more than one child, it’s really quite the steal. Cloth is also better for the environment in terms of the materials needed to make them versus disposables. Other benefits include fewer blow outs, generally fewer rashes, and cute plump bums.
- Stock the “Grocery” Shelves. These last two I am totally stealing from my friend Kate. If your toddler is at that stage where he or she wants to be like mom, set up your own grocery store for shopping fun. Just clean out and save old kitchen containers. It’s great to have something to do with containers you can’t recycle, and it’s cheaper than buying fake food at the toy store.
- Dirty Diaper Bags. Instead of buying those deodorizing dirty diaper bags to tote home soiled goods, just use old bread bags. After all, you are putting poop in them. Do you need new bags for poop? Collect bread, bagel, tortilla, and other bags and stock the diaper bag.
I’m sure that I am only scratching the surface of green living. If you have green tips, please share them in the comments!
Happy Earth Day.